When I commute to a client downtown, I have to take the Metra train. When I take the Metra train, I have to park in the Metra parking lot. Parking there used to cost $1.00 per day but was recently increased to $1.25. So instead of simply slipping a dollar bill into a payment slot, now I have to find the dollar bill and change. Who carries change in their pockets in the morning any more?!?!? Not me. If I use cash during the day and end up with change, I put it into a big change can at home at night for future deposit into the bank. I certainly do not grab a handful of change from the can on the way out the door in the morning, hoping to snare a quarter I can use for my parking fees.
So it was with much happiness and joy that I found that Imperial Parking - the company responsible for giving out parking tickets in the lot and collecting the fees - now offers cell phone parking payment. You simply set up an account by phone where the system records your cell phone number and credit card information. In the morning when I need to park, I simply dial a number. The system recognizes my account from the caller ID of my cell phone. I punch in number identifying the lot I am parking in (Big Timber) and the spot number where I am parked. The parking fee goes on my cell phone bill.
This is a great system! Not only do I not have to have any change, I, technically, don’t even need to carry cash. I definitely don’t have to look through my pocket for a dollar bill which then has to be neatly folded to fit into the payment slot. If I am in a hurry, I can even board the train and pay for my parking then, instead of having to pay before I leave the area. All in all, a great little enhancement to my morning commute.